Economist Todd Buchholz‘s Op-Ed column in the New York Times has raised some eyebrows.It’s central premise is that Germany feels obliged to bail out Greece. No, not because of the economy. Not because the two countries have vital economic links or because of a wider belief in the Eurozone.
It’s because they are jealous. Jealous, of Greek passion.
No, Germany’s real motivation to help Greece is not cash; it’s culture. Germans struggle with a national envy. For over 200 years, they have been searching for a missing part of their soul: passion. They find it in the south and covet the loosey-goosey, sun-filled days of their free-wheeling Mediterranean neighbours.
Buchholz goes onto expand upon his point with references to Nietzsche and Freud, BMW and Siemens, before concluding:
Despite a history of proclaiming their superiority, deep down Germans are not sure they’ve got it right, after all.
Joerg Wolf, a German writer for the Atlantic Review, calls the Op “the craziest op-ed on Germany’s policy on Greece that I have seen in a broadsheet”. He writes:
In addition to claiming that we don’t have passion, the author claims that Germans only have fun, when vacationing in Greece. Jesus, on what planet is he living? Has he ever been here?
It seems some stereotypes die hard.
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